Firefighter trainees dig out a fire line during the Forest Service and California Conservation Corps joint training session. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
The U.S. Forest Service has partnered with the California Conservation Corps to provide firefighter training for military veterans.
“Fire and Aviation Management is particularly appealing because of the significance of our mission and our well-defined organization,” said Robert Baird, deputy director of Fire and Aviation Management for the Forest Service. Read more »
This is the thirteenth installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations.
The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.
Organic operations implement preventive practices based on site-specific risk factors, such as neighboring conventional farms or shared farm equipment or processing facilities. For example, some farmers plant their seeds early or late to avoid organic and GMO crops flowering at the same time (which can cause cross-pollination). Others harvest crops prior to flowering or sign cooperative agreements with neighboring farms to avoid planting GMO crops next to organic ones. Farmers also designate the edges of their land as a buffer zone where the land is managed organically, but the crops aren’t sold as organic. Any shared farm or processing equipment must be thoroughly cleaned to prevent unintended exposure to GMOs or prohibited substances. Read more »
For years, the community of Warren, Minn., has experienced regular flooding problems from the Snake River. The events have endangered residents, their property and the surrounding farmland.
Working with the city and the Middle-Snake-Tamarac Rivers Watershed District, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has designed a flood control system for Warren with an off-river channel impoundment and a floodway that is helping to mitigate these inundations. Read more »
Imagine sitting at your desk one day and answering the ringing phone, only to hear the US State Department’s Office of Protocol on the other end. That is precisely what happened to Michael Perry, Export Specialist for the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) when he was told President Obama was traveling to Israel in late March and wished to give a special gift to the Israeli people. Read more »
The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently launched an online system that modernizes the way the agency informs the U.S. agricultural industry regarding changes in international food and agriculture regulations that could affect U.S. exports.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) requires member countries to submit notifications regarding proposed changes to their food regulations, enabling other countries to review and comment on the proposals. The new FAS data management system will help U.S. exporters and other stakeholders to more effectively monitor, evaluate and comment on the measures, keep track of comment deadlines and locate archived information. Read more »
A farmer’s market patron enjoys orange samples and talks to the booth vendor at a San Francisco area market. The new Farmers Market API released by AMS will give app developers and designers an easier way to leverage the wealth of information in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory. Photo by Gary Yost.
America is developing quite an app-etite. The number of U.S. smartphone owners is approaching 130 million, resulting in more and more demand for mobile access to our information. Combine that with the increase in consumers wanting access to fresh, local products, and it’s obvious why there’s such a high demand for the data in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory. Read more »